Top 30s in 2018: Women 30-26

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No. 30: Aliaksandra Sasnovich
The 24-year-old Belarussian didn’t play great at the Grand Slams, but she did reach the final of Brisbane, and at Wimbledon she upset Petra Kvitova and Daria Gavrilova before falling to Jelena Ostapenko. She can be forceful, and at times, she can be powerful, but at the US Open, she was double-bagled by champion Naomi Osaka. Ouch! Still, Sasnovich moved up, so in 2019, maybe she will be calmer on court and crack the top 20.

No. 29: Maria Sharapova
The five-time Grand Slam champion had a so-so year. When she was healthy, she looked pretty good — and very good at times — but once again, she was hurt a lot. Mentally, on court, she is up and down, being confident or confused. Hopefully, in 2019, Sharapova will be healthy, patient and a little bit faster. And how about this? Maybe she will come in more at the net and actually put away a few volleys. That would make her extremely happy, because over the past 17 years, she has backed off at the net. One way or another, when she is feeling good, she can beat just about everybody.

No. 28 : Su-Wei Hsieh
Another long-time veteran, the 32-years-old has won a number of big contests in doubles, but in singles, she was hesitant. Now, in singles, she is finally aggressive and steady. In September, she won Hiroshima, but without facing the best players. At the start of the year, she was ranked No. 103. She upended Garbine Muguruza and Aga Radwanska at the Aussie Open before losing to Angie Kerber. Perhaps Hsieh can reach the top 15 in singles? Hmmm.

No. 27: Lesia Tsurenko
There are so many veterans who keep trying to move up — way up. At the US Open, during an extremely hot day, in the fourth round, the Ukranian was collapsing. She could barely move. She was almost puking. Somehow, she stayed in there and, in the middle of the second set, she started feeling better. The 29-year-old won it, beating Marketa Vondrousova 6-7, 7-5, 6-2. “You need to survive,” she said. She sure did. However, Tsurenko did nothing during the fall; so next year, she has to be more solid.

No. 26: Camila Giorgi
The Italian did improve a good amount this year. She won 38 matches, and she lost 20. For her, that is pretty darn good. She won Linz, at the end of the fall, saying that, “I think it’s very important for the future.”  Giorgi had a terrific and tough match against the great Serena Williams at Wimbledon, losing 6-4 in the third. The same thing occurred at Roland Garros; she was so confident in nearly upsetting Sloane Stephens, very deep in the third, but she went down 8-6. Close, but no cigar. Giorgi has always been super aggressive, but now, she is a little bit more patient, which is a good thing. In 2019, she has to go even further.

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